At Home With Photographer Evaan Kheraj and Fashion Stylist Luisa Rino

Basotho blankets, quilts made with love and clothes passed down from generations are some of the favourite things for this creative family.

Picture this: a home bursting with life, thanks to a dynamic duo and their three pint-sized powerhouses. Meet photographer Evaan Kheraj and fashion stylist Luisa Rino, a creative power couple who, six years ago, welcomed their three girls from Lesotho and turned their twosome into a lively family of five.

Their favourite spot in the house? Our daughters’ shared bedroom,” says Kheraj. “There are beautiful pieces from their birth country in there. And it’s where we play cards, read books and have the sweetest nighttime conversations.” It’s also a place for them to come together as a family and connect. “It’s their room but it’s also a family room. We spend a lot of time together there,” he says. “We don’t have that culture where you close your room off—that room is just part of our house. It’s open.”

Photo by Tanya Goehring

The room’s decor weaves a whimsical tapestry of African culture and family heritage, punctuated by the classic doll pile on one of the beds—a sight that harkens back to many a girl’s childhood. Resting on the ends of three Ikea beds (that somehow fit into the tiny space with ease) are each of their radiant Basotho traditional heritage blankets. A painting by an aunt adds colour and love to the walls. Stunning Shweshwe quilts, made by yet another talented aunt. lovingly cover each bed. On one side of the room, a tapestry and flag from the children’s birthplace cozy up to a sizeable map of Africa. On the other side, a playful pennant string and some colourful paper crafts wistfully dangle.

Photo by Tanya Goehring

In Rino’s words, “Everything in here holds a story. They are pieces passed down; someone has made it with their own hands pieces with a provenance that will last and you can pass them on to the next generation.

This room isn’t just stylish—it’s a living, breathing canvas, telling a beautiful tale.

Evaan Kheraj and Luisa Rino’s Favourite Things

Bonding Brushstrokes

“The painting on their wall was done by one of Evaan’s aunts, Grace Afonso,” says stylist Luisa Rino, pictured with her daughters (clockwise from top) Mafusi, Nthati and Nthatisi and their dad, photographer Evaan Kheraj, “She’s a talented artist and made this special for them. She’s currently working on another painting for the girls–a portrait of them.”

Photo by Tanya Goehring

The Patchwork of Love

“The quilts were made by another talented aunt of Evan’s, Great Aunt Tete. She bought the pattern and South African fabrics from Celeste Compion, the owner of Meerkat Trading. The pattern is called chakalaka, and it is also the name of a popular soup. These quilts are made using Lesotho’s Shweshwe fabric, named after King Moshoeshoe (also spelled Moshweshwe), who brought the country together. In African textiles, you can identify the different regions from the unique patterns.”

Photo by Tanya Goehring

Tales Told in Thread

“The tapestry we found on Etsy, a small shop owned by a woman who had travelled all over and collected various items on her journeys. This is a tapestry made in Lesotho that depicts rural life there and many homes are still built this way. We bought the flag in Lesotho, on our first trip, from a small shop on the side of the road.”

Photo by Tanya Goehring

Fashioned Memories

“I look for history or something that will be historical. It should have a story. Even the dresses they are wearing (which were made by a South African seamstress) were made for them for a specific occasion. I’m keeping the girls’ dresses for them and archiving them for when they’re older. There’s a dress in here that belonged to my youngest sister, and her one daughter is older now so it was passed on to me. Now, when Mafusi wears it, she can talk about her aunt and see pictures of her aunt wearing it back when she was a child, and she can feel that connection. (And what is family if not connection?) There are also many pieces made by Evaan’s mum—there’s a white dress that was just a shell and she added these beautiful sleeves to it.”

Photo by Tanya Goehring

Basotho blankets

“They’re from Aranda Textile in South Africa and they are very special. These blankets hold immense significance in Basotho culture and go as far back as King Moshoeshoe I (Lesotho’s first king). The blankets come in different patterns that represent the Basotho identity using symbols that all mean something—the girls happened to all get the same pattern with the Spiral Aloe, which represents Lesotho’s Maluti Mountains. There’s a three-word motto in their country that is a part of the history of the blanket (‘Khotso, Pula, Nala’ meaning ‘Peace, Rain, Well-Being’). You can even find these blankets in the movie Black Panther.”

A childhood swing

“My uncle made that swing. I had asked if he could make the same swing as the one I had growing up that I loved.”

Favourite Place to Eat

“We love to grab breakfast at The Basic (3048 Main St., It’s a place we regularly go on the weekends and have done so for 20 years now. We started when it was called Joe’s at the downtown Davie Street location and have continued the tradition with the girls with the diner on Main Street. We love the incredibly friendly and efficient staff. The food is good, the prices are good, and it’s one of those places that get to know their regulars and make you feel welcomed and taken care of.”

The Basic

Favourite Shops

“We shop everywhere for home decor–from big box stores to Etsy to eBay and craft sales. We like the search. Sometimes we have something specific in mind, and other times we search by theme or era. In our neighbourhood, there aren’t any decor places, but I do regularly check our local Sally Ann store (, I’ve found incredible crystal glassware and mid-century ceramics.”